What Is an Expenditure Budget?

by Shari Parsons Miller; Updated September 26, 2017
Calculating monthly costs

Budgeting is an essential business activity that involves estimating incoming revenue and outgoing expenses over a given time frame. An expenditure budget is the portion of the company’s overall budget that deals with the costs required to operate the business.

Types of Expenses

A business expenditure is any fixed or variable cost that a company pays to conduct its operations. Fixed costs remain the same regardless of fluctuations in the business such as sales increases or declines. Facility leases, licensing fees and liability insurance are examples of fixed costs, which may fluctuate over time but not as a result of business behavior. Variable costs, on the other hand, are influenced by the company’s performance. For example, increased sales may mean more product output that requires additional expenditure for materials, warehousing and logistics. Expenses tied to payroll, marketing and technology are generally fixed but can be variable when business volume significantly changes in either direction.

Expenditure Budget Usage

Once an expenditure budget is established, the company has an idea of the total revenue it needs to maintain or grow the business -- information essential to formulating effective business goals and operational plans. The budget should be evaluated regularly against actual business activity financials to ensure alignment and help identify potential spending issues, cash flow gaps, savings opportunities or future profit scenarios.

About the Author

Shari Parsons Miller has been a business writer since 1992. Her work has appeared in “Business Innovators-Internet & Computer Technology,” “Dallas Business Journal” and “Encyclopedia of Small Business.” Parsons Miller holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Cardiff University, Wales, U.K.

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